1 Corinthians 7:8-9: "I [the apostle Paul] say therefore to the unmarried [including widowers] and widows, It is good for them if they abide [remain single] even as I [am]. But if they cannot contain [their sexual desires], let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn [with lust]."
2 Corinthians 9:7: "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly [unwillingly], or of necessity [because he has to]: for God loveth a cheerful giver."
2 Peter 3:9: "The Lord [Jesus Christ] is not slack concerning [slow in fulfilling] his promise [to come back], as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward [patient toward us], not willing that any should perish [in hell], but that all should come to repentance [change their minds from rejection of Christ to faith in Christ]."
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 [the apostle Paul, in a letter to the Corinthian church]: "Know ye not that the unrighteous [people who are unjust, sinful, wicked] shall not inherit [possess or enter into] the kingdom of God [heaven]? Be not deceived [misled]:
neither fornicators [unmarried people who engage in sexual intercourse with a person who is either single or married to someone else],
nor idolaters [those who worship people or things other than the one true God],
nor adulterers [married people who have sex with someone other than their own husband or wife],
nor effeminate [men or boys who display feminine (womanly, unmanly) characteristics],
nor abusers of themselves with mankind [those who engage in unnatural types of intercourse, such as anal sex],
Nor thieves [those who steal],
nor covetous [people who crave riches or possessions, especially things belonging to someone else],
nor drunkards [those who become intoxicated from drinking too many alcoholic beverages],
nor revilers [people who say mean things about others with the intention of humiliating, insulting, and embarrassing them],
nor extortioners [those who use force or threats to get money],
shall inherit [enter into] the kingdom of God [heaven]. And such were some of you: but ye [saved people, born-again Christians] are washed [in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ], but ye are sanctified [purified, made holy], but ye are justified [declared righteous] in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the [Holy] Spirit of our God."
Isaiah 55:10-11 [God speaking]: "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven [the clouds], and returneth not thither [there], but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud [plants and flowers], that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater [provide food for man and beast]: So shall my word [the gospel and truth, as revealed in the Bible] be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void [empty], but it shall accomplish that which I please [intend], and it shall prosper [succeed, thrive, flourish] in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:8-9 [This concerns everything, but mainly forgiveness]: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts [higher] than your thoughts."
[Note: Albert Barnes has some excellent examples of human forgiveness versus God's forgiveness in his commentary on verse 8. If you want to read it, click on the link (http://www.godvine.com/bible/isaiah/55-8) and scroll down to "Barnes' Notes."]
Proverbs 20:1: "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived [led astray, misled] thereby is not wise."
[In other words, those who drink too much sometimes do foolish things, which causes others to ridicule or make fun of them. It can also cause tempers to flare, which usually results in arguments or fights, such as barroom brawls.]
[Note: Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse, including an explanation of how wine was used in Bible times. If you want to read it, here's the link: http://www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch20_html/Prov.20.1.htm.]
Luke 17:11-19: "And it came to pass, as he [Jesus] went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of [middle of, or between] Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off [at a distance, as required by law]: And they lifted up their voices [cried loudly], and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew [show] yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed [cured, healed]. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet [lay down, stretched out, face down, at Jesus' feet], giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found [any of them] that returned to give glory to God, save [except] this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise [get up], go thy way [to the priest, in obedience to the law, to prove that he was healed]: thy faith hath made thee whole."
Psalm 127:3: "Lo, children are an heritage of [inheritance from] the LORD: and the fruit of the womb [a person's offspring] is his reward."
Proverbs 23:24: "The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him."
Genesis 19:1-26 - Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
This took place after God promised Abraham that he wouldn't destroy the city of Sodom if he could find at least ten righteous people there.
Verses 1-3: "And there came two angels to Sodom at even [in the evening]; and Lot sat in the gate of [at the entrance to] Sodom: and Lot seeing them [the angels] rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground [to show respect]; And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry [stay] all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay [no]; but we will abide [stay] in the street all night. And he pressed upon them greatly [insisted]; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat."
Verses 4-5: "But before they [the angels] lay down [on their beds to sleep], the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round [surrounded the house], both old and young, all the people from every quarter [every corner of the city]: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee [your house] this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know [have sex with] them."
Verses 6-8: "And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray [beg] you, brethren [neighbors], do not [do] so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man [intimately--they were virgins]; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes [he either thought that this was the lesser of two evils or that the men wouldn't be interested in them]: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof [for safety, so he thought]."
Verses 9-11: "And they [the men of Sodom] said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn [stay here temporarily], and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee [you--Lot], than with them [the angels]. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot [i.e., beat him up], and came near to break the door. But the men [the angels] put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote [struck] the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great [young and old]: so that they wearied themselves to find the door [couldn't find it]."
Verses 12-14: "And the men [the angels] said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place [the city of Sodom], because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD [their evil deeds have greatly offended God]; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and spake [spoke] unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. [They thought he was kidding and consequently didn't heed his warning.]"
Verses 15-17: "And when the morning arose [at the break of day, before the sun came up], then the angels hastened [hurried] Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou [or you will] be consumed in the [punishment for the] iniquity [immorality] of the city. And while he lingered [was reluctant to leave], the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without [outside of] the city. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee [don't look behind you], neither stay thou in all the plain [of Jordan]; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed [or you'll be burned up]."
Verses 18-23: "And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed [showed] unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither [there], (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. And he [the angel of the Lord] said unto him [Lot], See, I have accepted thee [granted approval] concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken. Haste thee [hurry], escape thither [there]; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar."
Verses 24-26: "Then the LORD [God] rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone [sulfur] and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew [destroyed] those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his [Lot's] wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt."
Psalm 51:12-13 [King David's prayer to God]: "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee."
[In other words, David had fallen into sin, and he wants God to restore the joy that he had when he first got saved. He also needs the Holy Spirit's help to resist temptation and avoid depression in the future. David promises that when God answers this prayer, he will tell others what they must do to have their sins forgiven, and sinners will be saved.]
1 John 4:20: "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother [in Christ (fellow Christian)--or, for that matter, any man, woman, or child], he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"
Jeremiah 17:9-10: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings." [In other words, God knows our hearts (our true character) and judges us--and will reward or punish us--according to everything that we think, say, and do during the course of our lives.]
Matthew 6:5-6 [Jesus, speaking to his disciples]: "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets [i.e., in public], that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you , They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet [do it privately], and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father [God] which is in secret [who is invisible, hidden, unseen]; and thy Father which seeth [who sees] in secret shall reward thee openly."
Matthew 6:7: "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions [i.e., don't keep repeating the same, memorized words over and over again, especially if you don't mean what you say], as the heathen [Bible meaning: non-Jews] do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking [long prayers]."
1 Peter 2:2: "As newborn babes [new believers, or born-again Christians], desire the sincere [pure] milk of the word [of God--the Bible], that ye may grow [spiritually] thereby:"
Hebrews 13:2: "Be not forgetful [remember] to entertain strangers: for thereby some [such as Abraham (Genesis 18:1-8) and Lot (Genesis 19:1-3)] have entertained angels unawares [unknowingly, by surprise]."
Ecclesiastes 12:13: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter [everything previously 'discussed' in the book of Ecclesiastes]: Fear God [according to the commentary by Matthew Henry, this includes 'a reverence of his majesty, a deference to his authority, and a dread of his wrath'], and keep [obey] his commandments: for this is the whole duty [obligation, responsibility] of man."
Matthew 21:22 [After cursing the fig tree because it had no fruit, Jesus said to his disciples]: "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask [of God] in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."
Luke 18:17 [Jesus said to his disciples]: "Verily [truly] I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God [heaven, by accepting God's free gift of eternal life] as [like] a little child shall in no wise [shall not] enter therein."
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 [the apostle Paul, writing to members of the church at Corinth]: "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ [pretending to be like them in what they think, say, and do]. And no marvel [no wonder]; for Satan himself [an angel of darkness] is transformed into an angel of light [a good angel; in other words, he can change himself into almost any shape or form]. Therefore it is no great thing [it is not surprising] if his ministers [servants] also be transformed as [appear to be] the ministers of righteousness; whose end [final destiny] shall be according to their works [of deception]."
James 4:17: "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." [In other words, if a person knows what is right and doesn't do it, he or she is guilty of sin.]
Proverbs 11:30: "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life [in other words, the born-again Christian (likened to a tree) will produce good works (likened to fruit) and be a blessing to others]; and he that winneth souls [tells others how to be born again, or saved] is wise."
[Note: Charles H. Spurgeon has a good sermon about this verse. It's called "The Soul-Winner's Life and Work." If you want to read it, here's the link: http://www.spurgeon.org/misc/sw11.htm.]
Matthew 6:19-21: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth [on fine clothing] and rust [on food, such as corn and grain] doth corrupt [cause it to decay, spoil, rot], and where thieves break through and steal [things like money and jewels]: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
JUNE 1 - The Lord's Prayer
Matthew 6:9-13 [Teaching them how to pray, Jesus said to his disciples]: "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father [God] which art in heaven, Hallowed [honored as holy, treated with respect and awe] be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will [that everyone should obey his word, as set forth in the Bible] be done in earth [by humans], as it is in heaven [by the angels]. Give us this day our daily bread [food--everything necessary to sustain life]. And forgive us our debts [sins], as we forgive our debtors [not only real debts but also things that people have said or done to cause us harm]. And lead us not into temptation [do not allow us to be tempted to sin and/or experience overwhelming trials and afflictions], but deliver us from evil [the evil one--Satan, or from being destroyed by his attacks]: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."